This invitation comes through collaboration that is happening with Reconciling Church pastors in the South Central Jurisdiction. Our Great Plains contact for more information is Rev. Jill Sander-Chali of College Hill UMC in Wichita.
What is “You are Set Free?”
“You Are Set Free” is a multi-media project to bring to clarity that faces and stories of those that have been kept bent over by the UMC through its stance of incompatibility. The word of Christ to us, as it was to the bent over woman in Luke 13, is “You are set free”. Free from that language; free from that burden; free from that definition! In your freedom, we are asking you to stand up tall in your identity as beloved children of God and tell the UMC: “We belong to God! We belong in the church! We are set free!”
A photo mosaic (like the example) is being created of the story of the bent over woman from Luke 13, using pictures of LGBTQIA+ and reconciling community members within the UMC. The goal is to print an image large enough to be seen from any seat within the bar of any annual conference session. The scale required to accomplish this means that upwards of 13,000 images are needed. The photo mosaic will be created and assembled in Houston and is being designed to break down and travel. The goal is to have it ready in time for GC 2020, after which it will travel to Houston for display at the Annual Conference of the Texas Annual Conference. The piece will then be available to any church (conference/group) wishing to display it in support of full inclusion in the church. We have requested it for Great Plains Annual Conference and are waiting to hear if that is a possibility. However, 13,000 images is a massive number and we need your help!!
What We Need From You
The creation of this piece rests on the faces of those we are hoping to see within it. We are asking you to send in a picture of yourself, a loved one, a friend. The goal is to gather the faces of those who have been affected by the harmful stance of the UMC and put them together so that all can see the beauty that is Christ’s church on earth. Send in more than one! Selfies, portraits, directory photos, holiday photos, vacation snapshots. Show how you are living your free self. If you like, there is also a place to tell your story. You can write about your journey within your faith and the church. Tell about the wedding you wanted, but didn’t get to have. Tell about your joys and sorrows. These stories will be gathered into a book that will travel with the piece. Lastly, you are invited to send a donation of $1 per picture to help offset the cost of the project. Don’t have a dollar? That’s okay, send us your picture and story anyway. Don’t want to share your story? No problem, just send in a picture. Have more than a dollar? Fantastic!
Use this link to send a picture, donate a dollar (or more) and share your story.
For those wondering:
Last names will not be used in the story book; only first names. Names of children will only be used if you give permission. If you have foster children or children but you want to keep their faces anonymous, take a picture from the back and let us know in the comments so the artists can protect their identities.
Link: You Are Set Free